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Beckstones Brewery, the Green, near Millom



Beckstones Brewery
Upper Beckstones Mill
The Green
LA18 5HL
phone 01229 775294
mob 077 6160 5782
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A 5 barrel plant located in an 18th century mill at the Green, Millom, using the kit from the High Force Brewery. Opened 2003 Brewer Dave Taylor.
Regular beers are Leat, Bitta Clout, Iron Town, Border Steeans, Haematite.
Demand for these wonderful beers is very high and Dave sometimes finds it difficult to meet it!
Beckstones now have a brewery tap! The Punchbowl at the Green, a mile or four outside Millom.


October 2011

Brewing suspended due to ill health again ... (after same in Dec 2010/ Jan 2011)


Aug 2010

Rev Rob won Bronze Medal for Strong Bitters in Champion Beer of Britain competitions

Leat available again - other hops have been found

Barley Juice makes its debut - a delicious light and fruity bitter 1033, 3.4%


Aug 2008

Champion Beer of Britain competitions, 2008:
Beckstones Black Gun Dog Freddy won
the GOLD award (Milds)
and SILVER overall (2nd best beer in Britain!!)


From What Ales, Spring 2004

Beckstones is one of Cumbria’s newest breweries, having opened just over a year ago at the end of February 2003. Owned by Dave Taylor, it is sited next to Upper Beckstones Mill, an old corn mill in the hamlet known as The Green, between Millom and Broughton in Furness.

Dave built the brewery himself on the site of a derelict dairy belonging to the adjacent farm. The slate stone floor is made with off cuts from a local slate quarry, and the brewery plant is from the former High Force brewery (previously run by Graeme and Caroline Baxter of Yates Brewery). A motor vehicle mechanic by trade, Dave did all the fabricating and woodwork, both for the building and the plant. He was helped in electrical work by son Tony and son in law Adrian, who has converted part of the old mill into his family home.

Dave originates from Silecroft, on the other side of Millom, where his grandfather was the horseman at Beck Farm. He lived at the Green for many years and in his spare time was always a keen home brewer. The brewery was conceived as a retirement project after being made redundant. He backed up his homebrewing experience with the Brewlab course, and prides himself on being a craft brewer with an instinctive feel for his product. However as a singlehanded brewer Dave now works seven days a week, and up to fifteen hours on brewing days! In between he has cask washing, beer distribution and paperwork to keep him busy.

Beckstone’s is fortunate to have its own well water; the 200 foot well was found when Dave and Adrian started building work on the site some 4-5 years ago. Malt mainly comes from Castleford maltings, and hops from Faram’s. Dave uses dried yeast. The plant has a five barrel capacity, and Dave brews once or twice a week. At present he uses two fermenters, but plans to instal a third in the near future. Something of a purist, he eschews the use of conditioning tanks, preferring to rack beer straight into the cask in the more traditional method. the beer needs to be vented longer in the cellar, he explains, but on the other hand it keeps for much longer and retains its condition.

Regular beers are Leat, a refreshing light 3.6% session beer; Border Steeans (4.1%), a bitter based on a Scottish border recipe; Irontown (3.8%), a darker bitter; and Hematite (5.5%), a strong mild based on a Victorian recipe. Occasional beers include Weissbeck (4.4%), a wheat beer; Porter (4.2%) brewed for last December’s Cockermouth Beer Festival; Bittaclout (4.6%) which was brewed as one off but proved so popular that Dave intends to repeat it. Whatsitsname is a special mixed beer produced for the Punchbowl across the road. Dave’s natural talent for brewing is shown in the number of wards that Beckstones has already won: Border Steeans was runner up in voting for Beer of the Festival at last October’s Westmorland Beer Festival; Leat came second out of over 200 beers at the recent Liverpool Beer Festival; and Hematite came third at last year’s Wakefield Beer Festival where 150 beers were on sale.

All Dave’s regular outlets are fairly local: the Punchbowl is his biggest customer, but many other local pubs, such as the Prince of Wales and the Wasdale Head Inn, take his beer. Popularity has spread by word of mouth, with the furthest pub supplied being the Royal in Penrith. Even so Dave is struggling to keep up with demand and is about to experiment with the latest plastic casks. He would like to upgrade to a ten barrel plant to increase his capacity. He is due to feature in Cumbria Life magazine. And then there is the watermill, with its still intact water wheel, to restore… I suspect Dave’s retirement will be busy for some time to come.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 October 2011 12:02